Half the universe’s missing matter found

Brian G Turner

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#1
Two separate studies discover that massive clouds of gas that form filaments between galaxies can account for 50% of the supposed missing matter in the universe:

Half the universe’s missing matter has just been finally found

Note that the article refers to "hot gas". So who wants to wager that much of the other half will be found to comprise of "cold" gas and dust, much of it within galaxies themselves?

Honestly, "dark matter" and "dark energy" have always seemed two of the daftest ideas to emerge from modern science. I thought it would be a matter of common sense that the universe must be filled with gas and dust we cannot observe directly. Coming up with convoluted and exotic ideas of what this "missing matter" might be always seemed ridiculous.

As did the observed dimming of Type 1a supernova being blamed - not on gas or dust clouds, which might be a common sense approach - but instead by the inexplicable invention of a completely new and inexplicable force in physics.

Hopefully a little sanity can now return to the world of astrophysics - and lessons learned. :)
 

tinkerdan

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#2

Vertigo

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#4
But this doesn't explain one of the observations that inspired dark matter in the first place which is the anomalous rotation of galaxies.

It also has no bearing on dark energy which has nothing to do with missing matter but rather the missing energy that is still accelerating the expansion of the universe.
 

Brian G Turner

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#5
But this doesn't explain one of the observations that inspired dark matter in the first place which is the anomalous rotation of galaxies.
That's why I mentioned the study relates only to "hot" gas. It would be interesting to see what happens if we were able to account for "cold" gas and dust, too.

It also has no bearing on dark energy which has nothing to do with missing matter but rather the missing energy that is still accelerating the expansion of the universe.
Which mainly came about from presuming that Type 1a supernova should all have the same brightness. But when it was found this was not true, rather than give real consideration to the idea of gas or dust clouds obscuring observations, instead a completely new force of "dark energy" was promoted.

When this originally appeared in New Scientist I just couldn't understand why simpler explanations were ignored, and the fixation of inventing a new property of the universe that, to this day, appears to have no more scientific description or validity than the "ether" of the Victorian age.

2c. :)
 

Vertigo

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#6
That's why I mentioned the study relates only to "hot" gas. It would be interesting to see what happens if we were able to account for "cold" gas and dust, too.



Which mainly came about from presuming that Type 1a supernova should all have the same brightness. But when it was found this was not true, rather than give real consideration to the idea of gas or dust clouds obscuring observations, instead a completely new force of "dark energy" was promoted.

When this originally appeared in New Scientist I just couldn't understand why simpler explanations were ignored, and the fixation of inventing a new property of the universe that, to this day, appears to have no more scientific description or validity than the "ether" of the Victorian age.

2c. :)
Agree on the first but for dark energy I would agree if that was the only evidence for this mysterious dark energy, but type 1a supernovas are only one piece of several pieces of evidence pointing to something (that we've labelled dark energy). There is also evidence coming from the cosmic microwave background and from the observational Hubble constant data (measure from cosmological redshift). So the several different legs supporting it mean that there's a little more to it than just brightness of supernovas and I don't think they've found a simpler explanation that could explain all of that evidence. If you check out the Wiki article Dark energy - Wikipedia it discusses these and a couple of other bits of evidence.

I must admit the details are all a little bit beyond me and I din't know about that particular one (the supernovas), the one I first heard about was the redshift evidence.
 

reiver33

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#7
Well, that doesn't work for me! I've just used up the missing dark energy taking the Universe back 30 years in a story of disgruntled B-list scientists, bitter at all their past mistakes and missed opportunities; physical time travel is possible, it's just a question of scale...
 

Mirannan

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#9
I'm by no means an expert; but as I understand it there is a limit on baryonic dark matter (i.e. matter made out of the stuff we already know) which is fairly low. The reason is that if there was significantly more ordinary matter then the universe would be much more clumpy than it is observed to be.
 

LordOfWizards

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#11
When this originally appeared in New Scientist I just couldn't understand why simpler explanations were ignored, and the fixation of inventing a new property of the universe that, to this day, appears to have no more scientific description or validity than the "ether" of the Victorian age.
Thanks Brian, you have given a voice to that vexing thought I've had for years about the Dark Matter/DarkEnergy proposals coming out of the science world. It would seem as if they were 'playing it safe?' or something by not suggesting any simpler explanations, especially with Dark Matter. (You should hear me railing at the TV (The Science Channel here in the US) when yet another scientist states that there must be some magical ingredient making galaxies heavier.) They say we can only account for 4.9% of the mass, and then say that it is based on that which is observable via electromagnetic signals. In other words, when we watch Andromeda spin, and it's moving too fast of all of the mass that we can detect with our various telescopes (Visible light, Radio waves), so there must be some "exotic" matter out there. Can we possibly estimate the amount of colder mass, as in billions of burnt out suns, hundred of thousands of light years wide scatterings of Hydrogen, Helium, and just plain dust and rocks?

The article that Mosaix linked to says that scientists calculated the 4.9% mass figure based on "measurements of radiation left over from the Big Bang, which allowed them to calculate how much matter there is in the universe and what form it takes". But in the past the science shows have said it was because of the rotational inertia of other galaxies like Andromeda. Can someone clear this up for me? I would love to see those Big Bang calculations and what "observable radiation" they were basing it on. I've had enough education in math and science to follow these calculations and suppositions.
 

Joshua Jones

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#15
Good to meet another skeptic of dark matter. It is just such an ad hoc explanation which magically has all the properties it may need, including some which make is sound like The Force, to explain whatever mysteries it is invoked to solve... It is a good stand in for what is unknown in astrophysics, but as an actual theory...
 

RJM Corbet

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#16
As far as I understand this is about missing ordinary matter; it's not about finding dark matter.

Until I became aware of this 'hot filaments' thing, I didn't know that half to 90% of the ordinary matter in the universe is still hidden. It's a misleading headline, imo.

This is not about finding dark matter at all?

Half the universe’s missing matter has just been finally found

... This is the first detection of the roughly half of the normal matter in our universe – protons, neutrons and electrons – unaccounted for by previous observations of stars, galaxies and other bright objects in space...

(From first para of above link)

The actual paper is linked here, for anyone who can understand it, lol:

[1709.05024] A Search for Warm/Hot Gas Filaments Between Pairs of SDSS Luminous Red Galaxies
 
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RJM Corbet

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#17
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RJM Corbet

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#19
Good to meet another skeptic of dark matter. It is just such an ad hoc explanation which magically has all the properties it may need, including some which make is sound like The Force, to explain whatever mysteries it is invoked to solve... It is a good stand in for what is unknown in astrophysics, but as an actual theory...
Dark Matter is just a term for the unknown force that is generating most of the gravity in the universe. It is not composed of matter or even of anti-matter. It's not composed of atoms or particles. It's just some force there. No-one knows what it is. The name 'dark matter' means nothing. Dark matter isn't really matter at all?

EDIT: Dark Energy, as @Vertigo observes, is the anti-gravity force causing the universe to expand.
 
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Joshua Jones

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#20
Dark Matter is just a term for the unknown force that is generating most of the gravity in the universe. It is not composed of matter or even of anti-matter. It's not composed of atoms or particles. It's just there. No-one knows what it is. The name 'dark matter' means nothing. Dark matter isn't really matter at all?
If that is the case, my concern is that they are ascribing properties to a lack of knowledge, rather than a "something". There is a problem with our cosmological model, and rather than just admitting ignorance on the subject, they name their ignorance "dark matter" and "dark energy". I wish I had thought of "dark algebra" in primary school!

I guess I would have more respect for someone who says, "we expect that we will make future discoveries which will explain this mystery, but at the moment, we don't know why..." rather than someone who says, "Dark matter explains it," knowing full well that dark matter is a stand in for a lack of knowledge. The argument takes the same form as a "God of the gaps" hypothesis, and I am reasonably certain those who theorize this would critique a Creationist who used such an argument. Physician (or physicist, in this case), heal thyself!

I apologize if this is a rant, but I like my science to be based on evidence and intellectual honesty, rather than speculation, and I haven't seen anything remotely persuasive in favor of dark matter beyond a description of the problem. And, at least for me, a description of a problem does not a theory make.
 

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